The Center’s Shawn Ingram to step down
Five-plus years of service as director of development will end in December
Published Thursday, 08-Sep-2005 in issue 924
Shawn Ingram, The Center’s director of development, will be stepping down in December. After approximately five and a half “wonderful, but very busy years,” he said he finds himself in need of a change.
Though Ingram’s successor has yet to be identified, “The Center will engage in an appropriately detailed search to find a multi-talented individual to take this position,” he said.
Ingram joined the staff of The Center in March 2000. Prior to that, he was a development officer for La Jolla Playhouse, specializing in foundation fund-raising and special events. He previously worked in major gifts at Harvard University and was the assistant director of development at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Mass.
As The Center’s director of development, Ingram works as part of the senior management team and board of directors, and spearheads the non-profit’s fund-raising for ongoing programs such as the Hillcrest Youth Center, AIDS Walk San Diego and the Rainbow Lodge, an affordable living facility for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning and HIV-positive homeless youth that secured a property earlier this year. He also spends a large amount of time speaking to the media and the general public on GLBT legislative issues and current affairs such as marriage equality and health care.
“Connecting people to The Center is one of the things I’ll miss most about this job,” he said. “Leaving the exceptional Center team; my colleagues, board members and the donors who have made such a difference is very difficult.”
Among the annual fund-raising events Ingram produces in addition to AIDS Walk, which takes place this year on Oct. 2, are The Center’s annual gala and Nightmare on Normal Street, a Halloween festival in Hillcrest that features live entertainment, a costume contest, vendor booths and a beer garden.
Some of the things he has helped accomplish during his years at The Center that are most memorable to him have been raising money for the Hillcrest Youth Center, which opened in 2000 and is now supported entirely by donors, and helping to fund The Center’s building on Centre Street. “The building is an important symbol for so many in San Diego and represents the presence and power of our community,” he said.
Revitalizing AIDS Walk San Diego also tops his list, as does helping develop the Rainbow Lodge.
“I owe a substantial share of The Center’s success to our donors,” he said. “Their faith in the organization is tremendous and I am truly grateful for their support through times of enormous challenge and times of great success.”
In addition to his work at The Center, Ingram sits on the LEAD San Diego Advisory Council, serves as a member of Diversionary Theatre’s board of directors and has participated in the America’s Finest City Softball League.
While he said he hopes to remain in San Diego, professional opportunities may take him elsewhere.
“I hope to remain involved in The Center in some way if I stay in San Diego, he said. “I will certainly maintain my financial support but will likely take a break from volunteer committee or program work at The Center. While I will play a role in the transition of a new person and be available for assistance as needed following my departure, I want to give my successor a chance to make the director position their own.”
Ingram said he is leaving with no firm plans for future employment because, given the public nature of his job and wanting to leave with a succession plan in place, he wants to assure a smooth transition at The Center, and feels that job-hunting on the side would send the wrong message to the community and to Center donors.
In his last three months at The Center, he will be working to produce AIDS Walk, The Center’s gala and Nightmare on Normal Street, as well as The Center’s year-end financial report and fund-raising campaign materials.
“We simply can’t thank Shawn enough for his nearly six years of dedicated service to The Center,” said Dr. Delores A. Jacobs, chief executive officer of The Center. “He has worked incredibly hard and has played a key role in making The Center the strong, vibrant organization it is today.
Richard Valdez, chair of The Center’s board of directors, said The Center will be hosting a celebration of Ingram’s work later this year, which will be open to the public.